School of Biomedical Informatics students elect the new Student Governance Organization officers

Published May 02, 2013 by Sarah Kelly


HOUSTON – (May 2, 2013) – Students at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Biomedical Informatics elected Mehdi Rais, MD, MS, Jonathan Wolfarth, RN-BC, MS, and Rafeek Yusuf, MD, to serve on SBMI’s Student Governance Organization (SGO) starting on the closing day of the election—April 26 at 11:59 p.m.

Four student candidates were nominated to run for the SGO election—Rodney Howell, Mehdi Rais, MD, MS, Jonathan Wolfarth, RN-BC, MS, and Rafeek Yusuf, MD. The three candidates with the most votes were selected to serve on SGO.

Melissa Resnick, SBMI PhD student, who served this year as the SGO secretary will be serving as the UTHealth Student InterCouncil (SIC) treasurer, the UT System student advisory council alternate and one of the SIC representatives for the school, along with Rafeek Yusuf and Mehdi Rais.

After the election, the elected officers and the SGO faculty advisor, Hongbin Wang, PhD, chose among themselves who would serve in the officer roles. The group selected Rafeek Yusuf, MD, to be the SGO president, Mehdi Rais, MD, MS, to be the SGO vice president and Jonathan Wolfarth, RN-BC, MS, to be the SGO secretary.

For more information about SBMI’s Student Governance Organization, read the SGO Bylaws.

For more information about the Student InterCouncil, visit the SIC webpage.

About SGO President Rafeek Yusuf, MD:

Yusuf is working towards a PhD in health informatics and a MPH. He has held several leadership positions with UTHealth organizations, including  the SPH student and alumni ambassadors, the SPH student association, the Student Epidemic Intelligence Society and SBMI SGO. “I believe that students should go beyond the classroom and commit to serving in any capacity. I look forward to continue serving the interests of students in a Student Governance Organization position at SBMI,” he said.

About SGO Vice President Mehdi Rais, MD, MS: 

Rais is an applied master’s graduate and is completing coursework towards a doctor of philosophy in health informatics. He’s currently working as the Director of Clinical Informatics at Texas Tech’s Health Science Center. “I envision working with SGO to help create more opportunities for meaningful student engagement including improved online engagement. I see a need for more dialogue with industry and government to have a complete understanding of what is going on in informatics outside of the walls of SBMI. I promise to work tirelessly to this end,” said Rais.

About SGO Secretary Jonathan Wolfarth, RN-BC, MS:

Wolfarth graduated from SBMI in Spring 2013 with a master’s degree in health informatics and will begin the PhD program this fall. He served during the 2012-2013 academic year as the SGO president and SIC representative for SBMI. He currently works as a SBMI teaching assistant and a staff nurse at the Menninger Clinic and has also worked in financial services and IT. He holds degrees in English and nursing and master’s degrees in liberal arts and taxation. “I’ve worked well with students, faculty and staff this year and look forward to continue to serve the school as an SGO officer,” he said.